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10 Important Stories From 09/20/16 Box Scores: Giving Up On Wainwright, Mancini/Quinn Worth Buying & More

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 1:58
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(Before It's News)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Jose Fernandez was the star of the night, tossing 8.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 12, to defeat the Nationals 1-0.  Odubel Herrera continued his torrid end of the season run, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB (he’s hitting .339 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 13 R and 5 SB in September).  Jon Lester starred against the Reds, allowing 1 R on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 IP.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Trey Mancini debuts with a bang…
He made the start at DH, ahead of Pedro Alvarez, with a LHP on the mound (Eduardo Rodriguez allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.1 IP to get the W) and delivered by going 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  Mancini split time between Double and Triple-A this season, hitting .282 with 20 HR over 546 AB and with Alvarez really struggling in September (.212 average) and against southpaws all season (.237/.286/.368), it’s certainly possible that Mancini makes an impact over the final two weeks of the season.  It would appear to be unlikely that he plays every day, though it also isn’t impossible.  He should be a good play for those in daily formats, where you can plug him in when he’s in the lineup.  Could he be worth more than that?  It’s certainly possible, so don’t be afraid to make a move.

2) Has Roman Quinn secured a starting spot for 2017…
He’s become a fixture in the #2 spot of the order in recent days and is performing fairly well.  Yesterday he showed his upside, going 2-4 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB, and it’s possible he brings 10/30 type stuff to the top of the Phillies lineup.  The question is if he can stay healthy or not, as he has consistently missed time in the minors (which, at one point, appeared like it was going to rob him an opportunity in the Majors in September).  There also is a risk of strikeout issues (21.1% at Double-A, 10.1% SwStr% entering the day), though he does have a good eye at the plate (19.8% O-Swing%) and there are few players who bring the appealing power/speed combination that he does (in a favorable ballpark nonetheless).  Don’t be scared to utilize him down the stretch, as the Phillies are clearly trying to get a look at him to see if he can break camp with the team in ’17.

3) Adonis Garcia thriving in the #2 spot…
He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R yesterday, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, as he produced all of the support Julio Teheran (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 K) would need.  He’s now hitting .290 with 6 HR and 29 RBI in 169 AB while hitting second, as he’s settled into the spot since the acquisition of Matt Kemp (which also helps symbolize when the Braves started playing significantly better baseball).  Overall Garcia has shown an ability to make consistent contact (16.5% strikeout rate entering the day), though his 52.9% groundball rate (53.7% in the second half) shows that his power potential is going to be capped.  Without much speed he’s unlikely to be a .300+ hitter, so his overall appeal is going to be limited.  Sure he’s playing well, but he’s simply not an alluring option.

4) An impressive outing for Michael Pineda…
Sure he had to settle for a no decision, but that doesn’t take anything away from his performance against the Rays as he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, over 5.1 IP.  The most impressive number is likely his 19 swinging strikes, though that’s been a strong suit all season (he entered the day with a 14.2% SwStr%).  He’s also shown solid control (2.58 BB/9) and enough groundballs (45.9% overall, 48.9% in the second half) to make us think that he has elite upside.  The problem has been more luck based than anything (.342 BABIP, 70.2% strand rate), though it’s not the only issue (1.94 HR/9 at home).  If he can figure out a way to resolve the home run issue, he could emerge as a Top 15 option next season.  Don’t be afraid of him, especially with what will likely be an appealing draft day cost.

5) Carlos Gomez continues to show that he still has something left…
He went 3-5 with 2 R yesterday, giving him four straight multi-hit games and a five-game hitting streak overall (10-22, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB).  In 24 games with Texas (entering the day) he was hitting .256, a modest mark, but with 6 HR, 16 RBI, 12 R and 4 SB.  Of course he’s also continued to struggle with strikeouts (31.6% entering the day) and while he’s hit a few home runs, he’s added just 5 doubles so it’s hard to get overly excited (25.0% HR/FB).  Should he be used while he’s going well?  Absolutely, but don’t assume that he’s going to be a difference maker until the end of the season.

6) A strong rebound from Matt Boyd…
The last time he was on the mound he was torched by Minnesota (7 ER over 3.2 IP), so it made sense to be skeptical as he was taking on the same Twin lineup (this time on the road).  Instead he flourished, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 8.0 innings to get the W.  In fact that implosion has been the aberration overall of late, as it’s the only time he’s allowed more than 3 ER in any outing since July 1 (13 appearances).  Of course that doesn’t mean that the southpaw is a can’t miss option, as he has struggled with home runs (1.51 HR/9 entering the day), which shouldn’t come as a surprise (39.3% groundball rate, 4 groundballs vs. 12 fly balls yesterday), and also isn’t a big strikeout artist (7.56 K/9 courtesy of a 9.4% SwStr% entering the day).  Consider him more of a matchup play down the stretch.

7) Wainwright struggles, despite the W…
It’s easy to overlook the rather poor performance Adam Wainwright posted, as it came in Coors Field and was overshadowed by the disastrous outing from Jorge De La Rosa (7 ER over 4.2 IP).  Wainwright allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 IP as he gave up 3 HR.  Don’t just chalk that up to the locale either, as he’s now allowed 6 HR in his past four starts and 10 HR in his past eight (at least 1 HR in seven of them).  Not surprisingly he’s allowed 4 ER in three of his past four outings (though he’s actually won three of the starts).  What’s somewhat sad is that his 22.5% line drive rate in the second half, entering the day, has actually been an improvement (26.4% in the first half).  Unless you’re chasing W, he’s tough to trust down the stretch.

8) Strong start for Rich Hill in a losing effort…
He was outpitched by Johnny Cueto (5.1 shutout innings), but that doesn’t take away from the effort of Hill who allowed 1 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP.  He made one mistake, a home run to Eduardo Nunez (2-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R), and left after throwing just 77 pitches.  If it weren’t for his blister issues he’d be getting a lot more attention for his performance, as he owns a 1.53 ERA as a member of the Dodgers and a 2.05 mark (as well as a 0.98 WHIP) overall.  Even better, the move to the NL has helped lead to increased strikeouts, as we’d expect, with 7+ K in each of his past four starts.  At this point it’s impossible to discount what he’s been doing.

9) Another impressive performance from Sean Manaea…
He had to settle for a no decision thanks to Joe Musgrove (5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K) and the lack of offense, but Manaea was impressive for the second straight start.  He tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 7.  Of course we have to keep the strikeout mark in perspective, given the opponent, but in two September starts he’s now tossed 11.0 shutout innings with 12 K vs. 3 BB.  He’s thrown a career high 153.1 innings this season, with his previous high being 121.2 back in ’14, so it’ll be interesting to see how many more starts the A’s give him (or if they want him to shut it down on a high note).  Keep an eye on the news, but he could be worth a stream in the final week depending on who the A’s run out there and if he, or anyone else, is shutdown.

10) J.A. Happ gets win #20…
It’s an impressive mark, as is his 3.28 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  He allowed just 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 5.0 IP yesterday, though strikeouts aren’t his game (160 K over 181.1 innings on the season) and he’s benefited from some significant luck (.268 BABIP, despite a 22.6% line drive rate, and 80.4% strand rate entering the day).  Even outside of the W the numbers may look appealing, but there’s more to it than that.  There’s a good chance that he regresses significantly in ’17, though at this point you have to ride him for the remainder of ’16.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, CBS Sports, MILB.com

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